Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Sorry, Suffolk, maybe Wednesday

I blogged earlier about plans to be at Suffolk Downs today (Tuesday, Aug. 24), but a great man and an angry woman stood in the way.

Actually, my son, Kevin, and I spent more time on the Samuel Adams brewery tour in Boston this morning than we had planned, and it's raining all day in the area, so the track didn't seem like such a great chaser. (Get it? The man and woman mentioned in the lede are Sam Adams and Mother Nature.)

I will say this: If you're in Boston and even sort of like beer, take the Sam Adams tour. It's free ($2 suggested donation goes to several local charities, including upkeep of the cemetery where Samuel Adams and other patriots are buried), you get a complimentary 7-ounce beer-sampling glass at the end, and that glass is filled three times during a very informational session on what goes into each variety. Today's selections were the Boston Lager (still 60 percent of Sam's sales), Summer Ale (obviously a seasonal, to be replaced in just one week for autumn's Octoberfest variety), and the absolutely stellar Boston Brick Red, available only on tap and only in Boston.

If you take your tour ticket with you (that is, an unused Sam Adams label, ours were from Blackberry Witbier), you can ride a free trolley for a half-mile to eat lunch at Doyle's Cafe, an Irish pub and a Jamaica Plain institution for more than 100 years. And if you show your tour ticket and order any Sam Adams variety on tap, you get a free, full-sized, specially designed Samuel Adams beer glass to take home. (Take the tour to find out how special.)

The tasting glasses are $2 in the gift shop (if you want more of them), and the specialty glasses are $8. So for the price of a $5 bill in the donation box, a small tip to the tour guide on the trolley, and the cost of a reasonable sit-down lunch, we came away with $20 in glassware and a couple of free beers. Not to mention a fun, father-son experience.

I can't imagine a better way to spend a rainy day, without horses.

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